First Impressions Review: The Division

 Tom Clancy’s: The Division is a game I had high hopes for right off the bat . The presentation at E3 2014 blew my mind away.  I knew this is the game we have all been waiting for and would be a true next gen experience from my impressions of the reveal.  I told my self in order for this to work the game has to work on not only day one, but also not be plagued by bugs. The reasoning for me thinking this way was at the time Ubisoft were having all types of issues with bugs in games, like with Assassins Creed and Watch Dogs for example. I was just hopping and wishing that what we saw is what we would actually get.
The Division doesn’t disappoint.  You get whats advertised, a cover based RPG shooter and its done so well. Right off of the bat they start you in Brooklyn. It’s a nice sized area to warm up in and it gives you the ability to explore, lets you get familiar with the mechanics of the game, as well as the many options you will have in the near future. However the real deal starts once you hit the big island of Manhattan.  Once you arrive here the attention to detail is on point. You feel like you’re in a apocalyptic wasteland in Manhattan. Most of the people native to the area will feel compelled want to walk down to their own street and see where they live.
One of the main points of the game is working on your base of operations. You need to complete side missions to get points and resources for each of these bases. Once inside the base you have different branches to operate – Medical, Tech, and Security. Boosting one of these areas will grant you abilities as well as special weapon unlocks. You also have the ability to craft if you have found said blue prints. The game has a very clear system of giving you options.  This is something that lacks for another game with similar attributes. Not only that, but there’s a nice chunk of missions for you to get into as well as the brutal Dark Zone (DZ).Dark Zone
WARNING: the Dark Zone isn’t for the feint of heart.
I would recommend leveling up to at least level 12 before heading in to the DZ or you will most likely die, repeatedly.
The DZ is AI vs player / vs P v P. It’s the only place to find and/or steal the best weapons. I would advise against going in alone otherwise that will leave you open to getting robbed. Let me tell you it’s frustrating as hell when this happens. Always go in with a group as that will make you less likely to get attacked.  The DZ is a nice sized area with massive jumps in player level.
One thing that Ubisoft does fantastically is that it splits up players by ranking so you aren’t too low or too high for the others in there with you. So if your main camp level is 6 you will only paired up in the dark zone with players with a 1-14 ranking . Higher level camp players will not be in the same bracket. I thought this was fantastic because it gives some type of a player balance. Also, just because there are higher levels it doesn’t mean you cant take advantage of them. My Clan (Skum Nation) and I were making the best of this on the higher level players by stealing their loot for a good portion of the night.
StreetThere are tons of trolls in the DZ. Folks that will do anything to make you go rouge. My best advice is to shoot last. You don’t want to go rouge unless you have a solid crew or you have the numbers to out match them. The reason for this is when you go rouge you have a count down timer for your rouge level to wear off. Also, since everyone will be trying to kill you, your reaction is to kill them only making your timer go higher and then you will reach Man Hunt Status. This is a double edge sword of risk and reward. You can get mega DZ points for outlasting the clock however, if you die you will more than likely go down in rank and lose all the awesome loot you collected and leave it laying there for those guys to steal. Some players will have beast guns so you need to act not just wisely when attacking, but wisely when trying to extract your loot as well. This is when most robberies occur is during the loot extraction.
I would have to score this game a 9.1, and you can see my break down for this below. Overall the game is fantastic and lives up to the all the post-release hype. There is tons of various missions, side mission and other activities to keep you entertained and a wide area to explore. This is New York you need to think  vertical. There are sewer systems, buildings,  as well as subway areas to explore . I’ve spent over 22 hours in the game and haven’t even placed a dent on the exploration portion.
My issues with the game  are that some of the guns need a bit of tweaking – like the AK, SCAR which are perfect examples. There should be recoil for those types of guns but not to the point where you don’t have much control over it and still just bounces up even with angled grips.
Also at times your player feels super clunky when trying to melee and the worst part is sticking to walls . I understand this is a cover based shooter but if I flick the stick to get off the wall – let me get the hell off the wall! Gears does this perfectly and it makes me wish The Division had the same fluid motion.
Go pick this game up, you wont regret it.